Baked Penne, Broccoli, and Ricotta

October 17, 2016(updated on March 31, 2022)

This baked penne, broccoli and ricotta dish is great for weeknights and potlucks. Leave the chicken sausage out to make it vegetarian. 

lagostina-pasta-pot

Happy National Pasta Day, friends! In honor of today’s holiday, I have a very tasty and easy pasta dish to share with you. 

broccoli-pasta-ingredients

I made this dish with the help of this gorgeous Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Pastaiola Set. 

chopped-broccoli

I’ve used this pot for all manner of blanching, steaming, and cooking by now (it also happens to work well as a canning pot for half pint jars!) and have taken to leaving it on the stove between uses, because I so enjoy seeing it there in all its gleaming glory.

blanching-broccoli

The recipe I’m sharing with you today puts this pot to work twice. First, I use it to blanch off a bunch of chopped broccoli. Once it’s cooked, I use the same water to cook the whole wheat penne.

cooked-broccoli

While the broccoli cooks, I browned some chicken sausage in a little olive oil and then drained it on a plate. Once the broccoli is bright green and tender, it gets drained and poured into the pan where the sausage had cooked.

From there, it’s a matter of building a sauce of pressed garlic and ricotta cheese. I wrap it up by adding the cooked sausage back in, along with the pasta, a healthy splash of pasta water, and a generous handful of grated parmesan cheese. Finally, it gets popped into the oven to melt the cheese and crisp the edges of the pasta. 

cooked-pasta

I love having a petite pasta pot like this one in my kitchen, because it allows me to stay at the stove, rather than dripping water between the sink and the stove. I’ve long had a larger pasta pot, but rarely pulled it out because it was just too much for my regular weeknight cooking. This one is just so much more functional for my household.

finished-broccoli-and-pasta

Disclosure: Lagostina sent me this pasta pot to use and write about. No additional compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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Baked Penne, Broccoli, and Ricotta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli florets and stems, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound chicken sausage
  • 12 ounces short whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Fill a pasta pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, salt the water well and add the broccoli. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until it turns a vivid green.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken sausage from its casing and brown in the pan, using a spatula to break it up into crumbles. Once it is brown, use a slotted spoon and transfer the cooked pasta onto a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Tumble the cooked broccoli into the pan that had once held the sausage and reduce the heat to medium. Bring the water in the pasta pot back to a boil and add the pasta.
  • Add the garlic to the broccoli, along with the ricotta cheese and the drained sausage. Stir to combine.
  • When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and pour it into the pan with the other ingredients. Stir to combine and add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, along with 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and add more pasta water, if it is too thick.
  • Top with the remaining parmesan cheese. Slide the pan under the broiler to brown the top.

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448 thoughts on "Baked Penne, Broccoli, and Ricotta"

  • I would use this pot for EVERYTHING! We actually est a fair amount of pasta, but I would also use it for all sorts of soups, blanched vegetables, and many if my canning projects. I love the strainer insert, I’ve always wanted one.

  • I would use this pot to prepare and serve warm apple cider! This will be a good pairing with the copper Moscow mule mugs too. Perfect for the season

  • Lovely pot. Right now I would put the pot to use with the freshly harvested broccoli.
    What a generous sponsor.

  • Oh my gosh… I know it’s a pasta pot, but I can’t think of anything except how perfect it would be for blanching produce from my garden that I could freeze to preserve!

  • Thank you for the giveaway of this beautiful pasta set! I think I’d make the above pasta recipe in that very pot, if you please ; )
    I definitely will try the above recipe even without what would be the absolutely perfect sized pasta/steamer pot for me a cooking for 1 gal with a shoebox of a kitchen. I’d leave this one on the stove too.

  • I’d use it just like you did – blanch a vegetable, boil pasta, then brown a protein and build a sauce with the drippings. Yum ?

  • My husband and three boys are huge pasta lovers so I would make them more pasta if I had this. Spaghetti and meatballs is their favorite. Simple penne with halved cherry tomatoes and spicy shrimp is a hit too. Mac and cheese. So many possibilities!

  • I’d love just being able to look at this pot on my stove! But I’d also use it for a veggie-pasta combo like you did.

  • I would admire it lovingly, then I would blanch some tomatoes, cook some pasta and have fresh ‘marinara’.

  • Quality kitchen tools make meal prep that much more fun! The old ‘right tool for the right job’ adage still works for me. What a handsome pot!

  • So pretty! This set up would make blanching anything so easy! I would start with broccoli, we’ve been making broccoli tots at home. Blanching the broccoli, blitzing it in the food processor, mixing in some good stuff and shaping them into tots! Not an original idea of mine, but I’ve enthusiastically embraced it. I can see many a meal starting in this pot.

  • Your recipe looks delicious, going to have to try that. I’d use the pot for blanching broccoli. And pasta of course!

  • Thank you for the wonderful Recipe! I love pasta! I love vegetables! A pot of this size would come in handy for small dinner cooking! I tend to cook way too much food in my bigger pots, so left overs are always on the menu! I would need the smaller pot to cook small meals or sides of dishes that my husband wouldn’t be partial to. He is not much of a pasta and broccoli eater And I adore Both!

  • Pasta, of course, but I can see using this for small batch soups as well. My family and I love soup but when I start with a larger pot – we get larger amounts of soup and then we have too much!!

  • I own a very large Pentola pot. However, we have recently moved and I am learning all over again how to cook and can for two people. This pot is not only beautiful, it seems to be the perfect size for my smaller scale cooking/canning adventures!

  • Wow, a pot just for pasta! I can see using it for blanching veg for freezing, canning pot, besides cooking pasta. I could eat spaghetti every day, if it was up to me! And the copper pot would be beautiful sitting on the stove instead of being hidden in a cupboard.

  • This recipe reminds me so much of my wife’s cavatelli and broccoli with sausage.
    This would be perfect for pasta and maybe jam or relish. (Without the insert).

  • I have lots of small sauce pans and 2 large stock pots. I would use this gorgeous medium pot for cooking pasta, small batch canning and probably a billion other things!

  • I have always wanted a pasta pot-especially now that I have a pasta crazy daughter! But steaming and canning small batches of jelly would also be incredibly useful…

  • This pan is beautiful! I would definitely use it for pasta. My other 6 quart pan is primarily dedicated to making my tea for kombucha, and I was just thinking that is the perfect size for making pasta for my family.

  • That certainly IS a gorgeous cooking pot! It would look wonderful in my kitchen. Uses would include just the sort of things you mentioned, including as a small bath canning pot.

  • It’s a beautiful pot! We really like broccoli & pasta recipes like this one, and we’ve recently started steaming veggies for dinners, so it would definitely get a lot of use.

  • What a beautiful pot! I’d use it for pasta (of course!) and steaming a variety of vegetables. It would also work great for blanching veggies prior to freezing.

  • I cook every week for a group of BIG Eagles fans, and they just love pasta! This pot would be lovely, and an attractive and useful addition to my cookware.

  • Wow, it’s so gorgeous! I’m sure I’d use it for loads of things, but the first thing I thought of was making an autumn pasta bake with butternut squash, sage, goat cheese, caramelized onions….!

  • Boy, that is a gorgeous pot. I could eat pasta every. single. day. but my husband won’t let me. Maybe this pot would convince him.

  • That is a splendidly gorgeous pot! It would practically live on my stove, between steaming and blanching veggies, canning small batches of whatever we have in abundance, and cooking rice noodles for my two little pasta fiends. A thing of beauty makes work a joy. And that beauty is totally joy-making!

  • I would make this pot my chicken and noodle go to. I think you are right it has to look gorgeous just sitting there, so I would hang it on a pot rack.

    Thanks,

    mf

  • Beautiful! After a thorough touching to experience the texture of that shiny, hammered copper, I would make a gluten-free pasta e faglioli for my family!

  • So darn pretty, I’d probably just have to leave it on the stove top for a couple weeks and stare at it before I would actually get it dirty. When I did, I’m thinking it would make canning that much more fun. Bring on the jam!

  • I love the ease of cooking the past in the pasta strainer. That would probably be the primary use, but it could easily double as a steamer for dumplings.

  • To be honest, I’d probably stare at it a lot–what a stunner! But of course, I’d probably use it for making lots of pasta for my half-Italian boyfriend 🙂

  • I just got back from Italy and am totally inspired to recreate some of the pasta dishes I has there. The ragu, the gnocchi, the ravioli……

  • Che bello!

    Not only would I use the Martellata for pasta, but more importantly, I would use it for my Grandpa’s Chicken Paprikash. This is the type of dish which requires a day-ling adventure. It begins with sautéing onions and garlic, then simmering chicken thighs drenched in paprika. This type of dish requires patience, and a hearty bowl of mashed potatoes, cooked in the juices from the chicken.

  • Goodness – I’d use it for so many things. Pasta, steamed veggies – so many things. It’s a beautiful pot!

  • This beauty would brighten up my kitchen and help my efforts at canning some homemade gardineira, one of my very favorite Italian accompaniments to a salumi platter. I can also see using this to make ramen (broth simmering for days, noodles bathing for a shorter dip).

  • I love anything copper. And I love to cook and bake and can. In this pot would make broth, soups, stews, pasta, lots of pasta, jams and compotes.

  • I’d use it for pasta. I usually only make enough for myself and maybe Partner(but he thinks my pasta is chewy)